*Viv, Wedding Photographer & Len, Lawyer/Musician*
As we explore the ways that past, present, and future intersect this week, Vivian’s post feels like a perfect fit. Her story is a reminder that sometimes very big things do go wrong at weddings (like, say, having to spend the night in a hospital waiting room while your partner undergoes emergency surgery kind of big) and it can completely uproot us from all of our carefully laid plans. And when that happens, it’s perfectly okay to mourn for the wedding that wasn’t, while still being grateful for the wedding that was. Because either way, it’s yours.
You can’t avoid a certain level of expectation when planning an event as iconic as your wedding day. Especially since I work in the wedding industry, Len and I had a very clear idea of how we wanted our wedding to go. With only four months to plan, we knew that to keep my sanity I needed to be realistic with my expectations and prioritize what was important to us. We envisioned a relaxed and fun celebration. We purposely chose locations that were naturally beautiful, saving us a lot of work. And I made sure I didn’t overwhelm myself with too many DIY details that I foresaw myself scrambling to finish at the last minute. I didn’t want to fixate on the little things and lose sight of what was most important: celebrating our love and commitment.
Len and I decided to have a small, intimate wedding with close family and friends and extend the party for a long weekend. To facilitate this, we rented a large house in Sonoma (complete with a pool, hot tub, tennis court, and large backyard) so that we could host a relaxed wedding weekend. Our families would stay with us at the property for four days and we’d invite our friends to come hang out with us at the house. We had a packed schedule of events starting with a Friday night family dinner, a Saturday ceremony in the backyard, reception lunch at a restaurant in downtown Sonoma, dinner back at the home Saturday evening, and a Sunday catered brunch and BBQ. And after all the wedding fun, my husband and I planned an easy five-day honeymoon in Palm Springs for some well-deserved R&R.
Well, as life would have it, things didn’t go as planned.
We made it through our morning ceremony and lunch reception without a hitch. It was a gorgeous sunny Sonoma day and Len and I had a wonderful time with our small group of guests. The ceremony was sweet and personal (both of our parents as well as Len’s niece shared words of wisdom, and my sister played guitar and officiated); the reception lunch was simple and elegant, just as we imagined; and the food was absolutely delicious. After lunch Len said he started feeling a little funny, but he chalked it up to residual wedding stress and pushed through a post-lunch photo session with our photographer. But when we returned to our rental house for an after-party dinner, Len started feeling worse.
He attempted to mingle with our guests but had to excuse himself by the end of the night. Around one in the morning, his pain was so unbearable we decided to go to the local emergency room. When my husband was diagnosed with appendicitis at four on Sunday morning, my mind froze. Up until this point, we had accounted for all the important details for the wedding. We had a plan. But now we were thrown a curveball. All my expectations for a beautiful, fun, relaxing wedding weekend and honeymoon were replaced with a surreal mix of emotions. Continue reading Wedding Graduates: Viv & Len